By His Grace: Rest in the Lord refreshes the soul
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."
How do you define rest in the Lord?
Do you live a balanced life emotionally, physically as well as spiritually?
Our physical bodies are uniquely created by God to inform you and me when rest is required. And when we choose not to listen, our bodies begin to shut down. When at the point of exhaustion not only will our attention span and comprehension become distorted, our natural defenses are weakened emotionally as well as physically. This is when you and I become incapable of functioning properly.
“If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?"
Do not misunderstand there is nothing wrong with good honest work. What is important is maintaining a healthy balance of proper rest in order to work effectively within your divine purpose in life.
It’s the same when you and I become spiritually unbalanced due to deprived rest then our defenses become weakened spiritually. Here is where the enemy goes on attack. Spiritual rest is commanded by God and intended to rejuvenate our spirit man. It is a time where we can commune with God more intimately and hear from him without limitation.
"Rest" in the Bible is referred to in various ways. Most notably it refers to the Sabbath being a physical rest from labor.
“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.”
Let’s take it a step further. When you and I accept Christ as Lord and Savior, he has a place in us to dwell. His rest provides you and me freedom from life's challenges. And we get to enjoy all the splendor and glory that is Christ. His rest brings eternal salvation, peace, encouragement, strength, protection, wisdom and so much more. “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”
As children of God, His rest brings provisions. What keeps many from enjoying this rest is unbelief in his finished work and lack of knowledge in his word. And also the inability to cease our own works.
God is the creator of all things, including you and me. He orders our steps. The lord needs not our assistance when leading us. Otherwise, we burn ourselves out on both ends of the candle. Where is the rest in that?
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
What is the next step? Recognizing who truly is in charge. You and I can stop agonizing over how to make things work in life. All that is required is for us to trust, believe and have the courage to move when he says go.
Through the Old Testament there is countless evidence of this rest.
The children of Israel received the city of Jericho.
They entered God’s rest and obeyed his commands. There were no airstrikes, nuclear bombs or huge ground force invasions. They simply held to the promise and believed that the plans of God would secure their triumph (Joshua 6:1-27).
When you and I come to a point where we can lay down our own agendas, allowing God full control, then we can cease strategizing. There you find less stress and more enjoyment in the fulfillment of God’s plans over our lives.
I pray that you come to find God’s perfect will for your life. And more importantly find your own rest in the Lord.
You may ask how I may obtain this rest you speak of. It all begins with a relationship with the son of God; allow me to extend an invitation to experience his wonderful love and all that it brings with it. By your own free will, you accept Christ as lord and savior.
Please repeat this prayer: “Lord Jesus, forgive my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Welcome into the family of Christ.
Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way. Shalom.
(Bible references: Psalm 23; Psalm 127:1-2; Exodus 23:12; Psalm 62:1-2; Revelation 14:13. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.)
Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.